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Astronomer's (Observing!) "Dating Agency"?


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Astronomer's (Observing!) "Dating Agency"? Hey, don't PANIC(!) - Emphatically NOT after THAT kind of... "Date"! :mrgreen:

But, having found my (albeit laudable!) "sort-of local" Astronomical Society a bit "chalk and talk", and noting that their observing sessions are usually "Cancelled due to poor weather": I was just wondering... Has anyone ever tried to match "solo" astronomers (perhaps without their own garden etc.) for LOCAL "darksite" expeditions - Either in pairs or small groups? I do a bit of remote, solo, observing myself, but never feel really "safe" these days - Especially standing around in the countryside with my "expensive" (LOL) stuff etc. :shock:

A national list? A database? Or perhaps this has already been mooted... Even done? :(

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Interesting concept Chris.

How would you see this working? You could register your details and/or create a mini-star party and set parameters for alerting other registrants?

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I've been thinking of something along these lines for a while - "astrofreindfinder" :(

Of course safeguards need to be built in - astronomers and equipment could be targeted by the wrong sorts.

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I suppose you could have a board where you would post your location and if you knew of a dark site etc. This board could be made so that you would have had to make 10/20/30 posts before you could get in!

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Hi Daz,

Hadn't thought about it overmuch - In fact, you're ahead of me, even in THOSE ideas. :(

In times when "Facebook" (I'm not even a member of such things! LOL) gets a "bad rep", I not sure how a "contact thing" might work? Perhaps it might be attached (worked in) to a "thriving" ONLINE astronomy group? [Hint] Maybe I'm just a bit "chicken" re. my local BUT LARGE(!) Astronomy group. Whereas I sense a sub-group (Did they dissapear "dahn the Pub"?) it seemed just a tad "inpenetrable" at first sight - Perhaps I'm being overly critical. :shocked:

I like the idea of "notifications". Certainly "personal/job/commitments" vary such a lot, but I have the feeling that , in my town of 20-30k, there MUST be an fellow astronomer or two! Perhaps there could be "categories" - Age, Experience, Transport, "Weight Lifting Capacity" - Though I sense astronomy is a great "EQUALIZER"!

JUst an idea though... :D

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Interesting idea. I know I would not feel particularly safe peering through an ep with no idea who might be around.

If safeguards could be implemented I think this could be very useful. :(

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Interesting that there are SOME positive responses though! Thinking back to my days of helping to run a NON astro-related club - Such things are not always easy. We used to think about reminding people about the "public" (sic) nature of meetings, various types of predation etc. Though I don't think our informal "rules" etc. would have phased our club's very own "Mr. Scary" much! :(

Perhaps it is a testament to the popularity of atronomy that I recently saw one club was "closed to new membership". They did have a 20-30% annual turnover of people not renewing subscriptions tho'. Maybe the "Local Group" is still they way forward. It may be that other members would be interested in a greater frequency of "observing sessions" (whatever) or even "offloading" commuting members to a neighbouring (i.e. my) town! Aaaah, How nice to have a SMALL-ish local group, an "open all hours", SAFE observatory site... a 6"/F15 refractor. [Mostly teasing on the last one!] :mrgreen:

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Craig neglected to mention our little group (see link in sig). Although this is a 'club', it is only this in the loosest sense of the word (no fees, no membership rigmarole, etc.). It is just a means (along with other benefits, loans of books, equipment, astro chat, etc.) of getting groups of us together for casual observing sessions at darkish sites that we have found and collected together.

It has to be said that one of the main reasons why it works is the effort put in by Paul (G1zmo on SGL) to maintain the website and mailing list, but work it does. I appreciate that this is not a universal solution but it does show that if someone makes an effort then lots can follow.

Cheers, Martin

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Good idea Chris.

I stick to observing from my own back garden, as I wouldn't feel comfortable standing around on my own in some out-of-the way spot, so being able to meet locally with a couple of other like minded souls for an informal observing session would be great.

Roy

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Nice idea, im the same, especially as an absolute beginner. It would be handy to have a small group to 'teach you the ropes' as it were. Sort of point out which end of the telescope to look out of and that sort of thing. I have some webspace/mysql/php im trying to find a decent use for. Though a dont have any coding skills, there is a PHPBB3 forum on there/gallery2 install too. And ideas you can email me. Maybe we can set something up.

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Be my guest? [Oh, what a COP out! LOL]. I think though, my days of system management, programming etc. are (happily) now over. I suppose my hope might be that it be "attached" or implemented within a CURRENT and THRIVING astronomical website or communty. I have never found out what it is that causes SOME such endeavours to succeed or fail... :(

There is that "thing that acts as a home for images" here. That seems to have some of the pothential functionality.

(Is that PART of SGL?) I will have to join and see what it can do... ;)

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Sorry if I have got the wrong end of the stick here but could you not simply have a search linked to the profile of people on here.

That way if I search for Basingstoke then all people in Basingstoke would pop up and I could then send them a PM to arrange a meet - that way you do not expose yourself to unwanted visitors.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Ant - I suspect, in a real sense it does! :angry:

I thank EVERYONE for their ideas. I think I'll "leave this one" ... and doubtless look to my own salvation?

Perhaps a "personal message" in itself? :p

I think my situation (transport & garden-less etc.) are rather specific, and may be better solved in a more individual way? :(

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I see no harm in a post in this section that says.

"I'm based in XXXXX, is there anyone nearby that wants to get together for an observing session"

or similar!

Ant

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think its a good idea - as a single woman I am not over keen on being out in a field in the dark with expensive kit. I live in a flat so I HAVE to be out but it would be great of say there was someones house I could go to or a group of us out.

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I think its a good idea - as a single woman I am not over keen on being out in a field in the dark with expensive kit. I live in a flat so I HAVE to be out but it would be great of say there was someones house I could go to or a group of us out.

This must be difficult for you and I sympathise, for someone in your situation I can see that a group meet would be ideal. Its just a question of finding like minded people within a reasonable distance that's the problem.

I'm lucky in that I can set up in my own back garden.

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I think its a good idea - as a single woman I am not over keen on being out in a field in the dark with expensive kit. I live in a flat so I HAVE to be out but it would be great of say there was someones house I could go to or a group of us out.

Heheh - But not exclusive a challenge to single females. Or rather, I just note the obvious... e.g. one cannot "run very fast" with even a "grab and go" telescope - Especially if one is a tad... Decrepit - Like yours truly ? :mrgreen:

But I do relate to general feelings of not wanting to be a "winge" or "burden" (esp. re. the transport issues etc.). So, perhaps, either as individuals or officials, at the end of your local "astronomical society meeting": ASK if there are any NEWCOMERS present? No real criticism, but at my "local", I did note most folks seemed to want to be "on their bikes", as quickly as possible. A few DID announce their intent to "go down the pub" ... as the "shot off" too! One of the FEW female members seemed destined to cope with "signing people in" at the start, making the tea at the interval, and ALL general organising stuff! In fairness, she TRIED to register me as a new member, but with rather little help, from numerous "bystanders"... :shocked:

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OH I would't run - I'd start whapping people. Scope weights could be frisbees from hell you know. :shocked: I am not that timid BUT I'd hate to get gear wrecked and at the end of the day a lone female cant fight off a gang of yobs solo.

I know what you mean though. I used to be in a gun club and it used to make me laugh that guys appearing to join assumed I was just there to make the tea when in fact I used to teach people combat style shooting ( part of my colorful past there ).

Mostly observation is lonely and it would be nice to be in company. My partner will come occasionally but I cant expect them to be joyful about sitting in a dark field getting cold very often :cat: .

I have a few offers from some kind souls and doubtless I'll take some of them up. Oh you lucky people with gardens - you might end up with me in them falling in your prize gardenias :cat:

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Quite a bit Kapt. Kremmen - plus all the stuiff like Thornlands. It used to be more than a hobby - my life - in fact. When it got banned I had no hobbies at all for years and to be honest I kind of got used to not having one. My kids tied up a lot of time and my ex and I found myself tending to support them in their hobbies rather than having one of my own. Only recently did I find I had the time and the inclination to have a hobby myself and I came back to astronomy. I have had a fair few in my time and left them , gliding ( got too expensive )

judo ( my back got done in and made it impossible )

shooting ( now banned )

fencing ( got fed up with it )

photography ( it turned into my business and that killed it for me really )

website design ( got turned into a business and I lost interest and sold it )

writing ( suffer too badly from writers block )

So here I am back to astronomy and I have to say loving it and realising what I have been missing. Just wishing the weather was better but in the interim theres much to do and learn. Its so friendly here its great and theres no bitching - try a professional webmasters board sometime :shocked:

nyway better get back on topic before I get a rap from the admin team :?

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  • 1 month later...

Observing alone in some remote spot, is not a good idea, although I have thought about it. Two, three or four like minded observers could quite easily arrange to meet somewhere at a given time and enjoy the safety of each other's company.

Starting early evening, and observing into the early hours of the morning, would be enough time to enjoy a decent nights star gazing. There are lots of remote countryside spots, where such a meet could be arranged, take a flask or two and a snack with you: and plenty of warm clothing, whats wrong with that.

Or even arrange to visit each other's gardens for an evening, so you are at least in the company of others who enjoy observing.

The only draw back, is getting people together who do not live too far awy from each other. Travelling thirty to forty miles for an all night session, is not so bad, but above this and it becomes unpractical.

I live 15 miles north of Birmingham, so if anyone from around a thirty mile radious, would like to meet up some evening, how about it? Anyone interested?

Geoff

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  • 2 months later...

This is a subject so close to my heart I thought I'd resurrect it! I too want to observe in some dark spot but like Astro_baby I don't feel safe!

Can SGL have a little subsection for people to meet up locally? I'm near Buckingham!

Alexxx

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